Ultrasounds? Lawmakers in Pennsylvania Want to Force You to Have One, But They Can’t Even Say the Word

Although many states are still attempting to pass mandatory ultrasound bills, the effect that the Virginia “trans-vaginal” battle has had on the debate is becoming much more obvious.

Politicians, afraid of anything that might conjure up the association with “trans-vaginal” are trying to avoid saying “ultrasound” at all.

Take, for example, this article in the Pennsylvania Republican Herald.  Interviewing the entire slate of GOP legislators in Schuylkill County, each one refused to say ultrasound, and instead said it was about “information.”

“I really think it’s good legislation,” state Rep. Jerry Knowles, R-124, a co-sponsor of House Bill 1077, the proposed legislation, said Thursday. “There’s nothing wrong with information.”

Although state Rep. Mike Tobash, R-125, had been a co-sponsor of the bill, he said Thursday that he no longer is.

“I have reservations about it,” said Tobash, who added that he still supports the general idea behind it. “I felt the information was good. The bill is more intrusive than I think it should be.”

“I generally take a pro-life stance. I think the general idea of giving women more information at that point in time is good,” he said. “I think good information is important.”

The word “information” is used by the three Republicans, one of whom is a bill sponsor and another a former sponsor who pulled his name off of it, six times in their quotes.

As for the word “ultrasound”?  Not once.

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  • cade

    Look, I come from a family of people who work in the medical field. I’ve had ultrasounds relating to my reproductive health–for my PCOS-related ovarian cysts and for my ectopic cornual pregnancy which I had an abortion for (in my case, use of ultrasound prior of abortion was medically valid seeing it was ectopic and the doctor needed to know where the hell the amniotic sac was, seeing it wasn’t where it was suppose to be).


    I have two thing to say that these massive jerkholes NEED to get into their heads:


    1) YOU NEED TO BE TRAINED TO READ AN ULTRASOUND. I didn’t look at most of my previous ultrasounds because I already knew I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I recall the doctor showing me my first ultrasound which was to examine the internal bleeding from one of my ruptured ovarian cysts and I remember my eyes glazing over because it’s not a photo or  picture–it’s a flickering, jumpy, black-and-white translation of reflected soundwaves off of parts of my body I have never actually seen (and hope never to actually see). My mother could read it, because she’s registered nurse. I’m a musician and a polyglot. I can read several types of musical notation and 4 langauges, and despite being the daughter of RN and a doctor of human anatomy, I can’t make heads or tails of an ultrasound even with a doctor standing there, pointing and telling me what SHE/HE sees.  Would you expect a layperson to be able to read an EKG? An MRI? A CAT scan? No, of course not. Hell, they don’t even trust us laypeople to read X-rays and rightfully so. So tell me, how is showing a woman something that needs professional training to properly understand genuinely conveying “information”?


    2) EVEN IF THIS WAS REALLY ABOUT INFORMATION, IT’S NOT ABOUT INFORMATION A WOMAN SEEKING AN ABORTION DOESN’T ALREADY KNOW. Seriously, the “information” they are talking is how they want to make sure women really, truly know they are pregnant and then make them think about that, as if they haven’t thought about it by the time they consider getting an abortion. It’s not about anything more than that. It’s asinine to the 10th degree. ANd it’s infuraitingly patronizing and cynical, as it shows how these people think about us women and our own intellectual competency and autonomy. When I had my ultrasound for my abortion, I already knew I was pregnant. No, honest, I did! For reals! I think it’s safe to say, every women seeking an abortion already has that information. I don’t think seeing an ultrasound would have made me any more aware of my state of being pregnant. I also knew how far along I was and I knew something was very wrong with my pregnancy–my body was telling me that via the agonzing pain 24/7. The ultrasound was only to assure the doctor could perform a D&C safely. It wasn’t to inform me–I had *all* the information I needed already when I walked into the clinic. An ultrasound at that time could not have provided me with any additional, useful information, let alone information that would have changed my decision, beause *it would not have changed my circumstances.* I knew there was slight chance I could carry to term. I also knew that a cornual pregnancy has the highest rate of maternal death among ectopic pregnancies. And I knew what my body was telling me. I can honestly say that having an ultrasound changed NOTHING about the crcumstances that led me to choose abortion. Unlike these jerkholes who are pushing for these laws, I think I have more creditabilty when I say I’m very sure the same holds true for most, if not all other women seeking an abortion. We know our bodies, we know our circumstances and we know what it is the best for ourselves. We need to be allowed to choose the best for ourselves without intimidation, without coercion and certainly without this kind of bullshit so transparently meant to confuse and obfuscate.